Robot 6

Artist Justiniano pleads guilty to child-porn charge

Josue Rivera (AKA Justiniano)

Josue Rivera, better known to comics fans as the artist Justiano, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree possession of child pornography, more than two years after a thumb drive containing dozens of images was dropped off at a funeral home by mistake. He could face at least two years in prison.

The news arrives from Eye on Comics, which has been following recent developments in the case. An online search of Connecticut Superior Court records confirms the guilty plea.

Rivera was arrested in May 2011 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, following a July 2010 incident in which police say he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera’s computer and found 153 files of suspected child pornography.

He initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree possession of child pornography, and requested a jury trial. But then last month a judge denied a motion to suppress the thumb drive, which Rivera’s attorney argued was obtained by police through an illegal, warrantless search. The judge ruled the search valid, as the material on the drive was brought to the attention of the police by a third party, the funeral home director.

According to Connecticut law, “A person is guilty of possessing child pornography in the second degree when such person knowingly possesses twenty or more but fewer than fifty visual depictions of child pornography.”

As Justiniano, Rivera had penciled such titles as DC Comics’ The Creeper, Day of Vengeance and Countdown to Mystery, as well as Chaos! Comics’ Chastity: Rocked and Evil Ernie: Straight to Hell. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5.

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Comments

2 Comments

Well.

The Creeper, indeed

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